St.Polten – The Okanagan European Eagles recently became the newest members of the United States Premier Hockey League. The only European based team to participate in the USPHL Premier next season, the Eagles are happy to announce they have found a professional leader with a diversified background necessary for this unique hockey club.
The Eagles are excited to announce that Oly Hicks has been named Head Coach and General Manager. Raised in British Columbia, Canada, Hicks has been coaching in Europe for over 11 years and currently resides in Innsbruck, Austria.
“I am excited to help young European players realize a dream of playing junior hockey and eventually NCAA hockey in North America.” Hicks said. “It is always rewarding to help young players progress and reach their hockey goals.”
From 2001 to 2008 Hicks served as Coach and Assistant Athletic Director at Manhattanville College. Located in Purchase, New York, Manhattanville College is a NCAA Division 3 school that competes in the ECAC-West Conference.
The President of the Okanagan European Eagles, Markus Houben, said about hiring Hicks, “It was very important for us to assign a high caliber coach who has NCAA experience, knows how to further develop players and has a solid contact base and understanding of the Division 1 and Division 3 schools in the area our team is playing. With Oly joining Okanagan Hockey Europe, we found the perfect candidate.”
Hicks, an Italian/Canadian, has spent time coaching in Austria, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. While coaching the Vipiteno Broncos he helped lead the club to two Italian Serie A2 Championships and a Coppa di Lega. Not only a qualified coach, Hicks is well-educated holding a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Arts degree.
“During my 11 plus seasons Europe, I’ve come to understand European players. This understanding will help guide our players as they transition to America and progress through the North American hockey levels.” Hicks added.
With the Eagles first season in the USPHL Premier inching closer everyday, Hicks isn’t wasting any time and is recruiting actively.
“The remainder of the summer be used to finish scheduling; including on ice, our off ice program with Edge Performance Systems in Foxborough, our NCAA showcase schedule, and our NCAA campus visits.” Hicks concluded.
To contact the club or Coach Hicks, send all enquiries to USPHL@ohseurope.com
At OHA, I had an opportunity to play with some of best players in the country and had coaches that pushed me to be my best, positioning me to play for the Penticton Vees and now the University of Denver.